To Aid And Abet (A Diaper Dimension Story) - Chapter 2

To Aid And Abet

Chapter 1: A Pet Bird Named Sam

Back in her childhood home, Emilia had owned a pet bird which she named Sam. Sam had been a parrot, a small but colorful bird that looked at the world with wide eyes and would get excited whenever someone came through the door. Even more when that someone was new to Sam. Sam had been very open about people. He would always say: “Hello Friend, Welcome To Mimiville!” when someone came in.

Even when her parents came in, shouting at her, even when her siblings kicked the door open, even when she was mad at the world and came in stomping to her bed. It was always the same old greeting.

“Hello Friend, Welcome To Mimiville!”

There had been times when she’d grown so mad at the little guy. Mad for something she taught him. She’d always told him to say that word, given him food when he did. Always, she would go: “Hello Friend.”

And he would answer.

Emilia sighed, looking up at the Amazon. The woman had overdone her make-up, wore a dress that seemed specifically designed to show off what Amazons thought to define power. She even wore goddamn heels. Why would an Amazon even need those? Was she so afraid of not reaching top shelves?

Emilia wondered if there were blisters on her feet.

The Amazon herself checked something off on her tablet, nodded.

“All looks in order. To think that you lived in a house like this…”

The way she puckered those lips, as if to taunt Emilia, as if to say that all that was something she could never have. She hated Amazons, she hated them with a passion. Still, she looked at the room of her childhood, emptied out and in new, plain white color.

“I mean, the stairs alone…”

And that’s where she went. Of course that’s what she fucking meant. The stairs, her eyes showed worry. She had attempted to take Emilia’s hand at the start of it, to take her through the house and “make sure” she didn’t fall. She even said on the phone that this would be an exciting an adventure.

Emilia sighed.

“I don’t know what you mean. The stairs are fine, you got up no problem. As a matter of fact, everything is in peak condition. I just had the kitchen renovated, too. I’m sure you can give me a good price.”

The Amazon looked at her for a second.

“Well, I could. How about we grab some lunch. Somebody looks hungry.”

She was hungry. She hadn’t eaten any breakfast today, hadn’t drunken much either. This whole thing had kept her up through the night. None of her siblings had been there for the funeral and the only message she’d gotten was about the inheritance. They trusted Emilia to handle everything and just reap some coin from all the dealings. That and they knew that all the official channels were stacked with Amazons who would just love to snatch them up. Like fucking boogeymen.

Emilia shook her head.

“Thank you for the offer, but I have a meeting in an hour.”

She made sure the word was spoken clearly. This goddamn Amazon should know that she wasn’t dealing with some sad street rat that couldn’t fight back. She had a position of power, she was someone!

“Ah, alright, but you should eat something. You Littles need to watch yourselves.”

“Unlike you lot?”

“Hm?” The Amazon tilted her head, curious. “What was that?”

Emilia knew bait when she saw it. This Amazon was expecting a fight now, maybe had even planned for it. Was this one more lonely woman who wanted to have an adorable little goblin for a child instead of the actual thing? One more sad creature yearning for a thing they knew they would ever get the natural way?

“I mean that you care so much about others, you Amazons also tend to forget yourself. Did you eat today?”

The Amazon smiled at that comment.

“Of course, sweetie.”

Power dynamics could be a bitch. An independent Amazon was hard to intimidate, and, without anyone here, Emilia was sure picking a fight was a bad idea.

“Well. The house is in a good shape. I wouldn’t sell it to Littles though. This could easily work for Middles, or even Amazons.”

That! That was what Emilia had been hoping for. A sad truth of demographics was that Amazons could earn way more than Littles, so selling the house to some of them would prove more lucrative than other options.

“Yeah, it was made with Amazon specs in mind.”

So that they wouldn’t stand out, her father had always said. A paranoid man, grown demented and sick. He had decided to leave the world long before his time and no Amazon Doctor had decided to save him, unlike they did with the “cute” ones.

“This is what I mean, sweetie. I guess it’s a good decision of you to sell it. I wouldn’t trust a cute thing like you in such a big house, it must’ve been awfully scary.”

Emilia looked to the window with apple tree in front. She’d decided to sleep here while she was in town, but only lasted half a night. There were noises coming from around the house, though the Amazon wouldn’t believe her, probably. Her current apartment in the Hotel was way better.

“I grew up here. Why would it be scary?” She asked to deflect.

The Amazon, Emilia could see it in the predatory grin, in the hungry eyes, that she didn’t believe for a second. Heck, even if it was true, she’d still insist it was a lie. That’s how Amazons worked, the filthy gits.

“Well, that’s very brave,” she laughed. “I don’t think I could stay around such a big house on my own. But we’ll find people who will. You have such a lovely view, and garden, too. Good neighbourhood, too.”

“So we have a deal? Good, you have the contact of my secretary?”

“The phone number? Yes, I have your… secretary’s contact.”

Emilia didn’t like the way she said the word. Like it was some sort of special game terminology. Still, she pressed on.

“Alright, she’ll handle the rest. I just wanted to show you around and make sure we get this thing rolling. Now, I’m still busy so we’ll have to cut this short…”

The Amazon nodded. There was one more exchange, some jabs at Emilia being a little that were clearly thought to be subtle and then the woman was gone and Emilia stood in the room of her childhood.

“Hello Friend. Welcome to Mimiville,” she muttered and sighed again. “God fucking dammit.”

Her hands ran along her cheeks, her fingers rubbed her eyes. She felt fatigued. This had been one drawn-out experience and exercise in both futility and condescendence.

“Fucking Amazons. Fuck. Fuck!”

She shouted into her hands. From the doctors, the morticians, the lawyers to the fucking broker nobody seemed to care that her mother was gone from this world. No, she was just one more animal in the corner. Small ,alone, helpless. She felt herself shaking. She had wanted to punch this woman so bad. It was hard to hold back the tears.

“God… Argh.”

She stomped her foot, shook her head.

“Calm down, Emilia Barbara Berger, you are above this,” she told herself. She was hungry and hungry meant moody.

This could not stand. She needed to get to a restaurant, so she looked to the window. It was too high up for her to look through. Always had been. The window of her childhood. She’d loved climbing on the sill and watch the world. Once this big, immense world had seemed so wonderful to her.

Back when she had a pet bird named Sam. [HR][/HR]
Leaving the house behind, she went through the garden towards the gate, where two cars stood parked. The broker stood there, her smile broken as she clutched her tablet. And then there was Mary, who stood there in her new suit and sneakers, those damn sneakers, her afro moving with her head. Compared to the other Amazon, Mary was smaller, skinnier, less impressive, and yet she made the other uneasy.

They parted with a handshake and the broker went over to her car, grumbling. Mary, seeing Emilia approach, bowed her head.

“Sorry, boss, I told her to treat you more respectfully.”

Emilia sighed. “It’s fine, we could’ve done a lot worse.”

“She said the house will fetch a good price. Do you want me to–”

“Yeah, and get it done soon. I just need to see the money,” Emilia answered casually, turning around again. One last look at the home of her childhood.

Mary leaned against the fence.

“It looks like one of those houses from the movies. Y’know, one of those wholesome family pictures. It’s very romantic.”

Mary said, trying to sound poetic, probably. She always aimed for something and out came something different. Emilia looked at her. The dark-skinned woman with a strong preferrence towards green suits and sport shoes had a dreamy smile on her face. She was probably fantasizing about living in a home like this, even though it was very much out of her reach. Her job paid well, but not that well.

“Dad used to have all kinds of stuff in the garden. We had homemade salads so often I can’t even remember,” Emilia told her. “It was fairly wholesome for a little kid.”

Mary sighed. “Oh, you must’ve had a wonderful childhood.”

Emilia shrugged. “I came out well, I’d say.”

“I grew up in the city, I think I saw my first forest when I was eight or nine.”

“That’s a bit sad,” Emilia answered, leaning against the large fence now, too, pulling out a package of cigarettes.

“Do you want a light?”

“Nah, got one my…”

Yet Mary had lit the cigarette the moment it was in Emilia’s mouth. The girl felt her muscles tending, but Mary didn’t do anything else. She had simply lit her boss’ cigarette. Nothing more. You could say a lot about Amazons, but Mary was at least one smart enough to know where the line was. She wasn’t even fawning over littles being paraded around in public.

No, she was all quiet smiles and helpful adivice.

“Thanks,” Emilia said, taking a puff. “I’m missing this place already. Haven’t been here since I was fifteen, but still.”

“Fifteen? That’s an awfully young age to leave home.”

Emilia shrugged. “When you’re a Little, age is irrelevant. Most Amazons can’t tell the difference between a teen and an adult Little anyway.”

“I can very easily tell that you’re twenty-two and four months, ma’am.”

“You can tell because you wrote it down in your notebook, Mary.”

There was an awkward laugh above her. Mary hadn’t known that she knew about her notes.

She took the chance to really let the sight sink in. This would be her final visit and soon this would be someone else’s place. The final bits of her childhood left behind.

“How’s the hotel treating you, ma’am? I noticed you hadn’t taken your breakfast today.”

Emilia sighed. “I just was too nervous to eat. I want this all to work out.”

Mary nodded. “It will, just let me handle it and you can go back to business as usual.”

Let me handle it was a sort of mantra for Mary. Everything that wasn’t big company business she handled for Emilia, so she could focus on the important stuff. It worked out for both of them. Mary had become an invaluable asset to Emilia over the last year and Emilia’s constant fight against a board of Amazons had become far easier. She wasn’t as respected as some others, but at least to some agree accepted as a member, if not a valuable one.

“Yeah, let’s do that.”

“Alright, and, uh, I took the freedom to schedule us a table at a wonderful restaurant. The one you told me about, the…”

“Old Mill? That’s still around.”

“Yes, new owner but it has a good reputation.”

Emilia shrugged and put the cigarette to the ground.

“Alright, let’s try it. Anything to keep in mind?”

“They follow standard procedure concerning Littles now, but we should be fine.”

Mary didn’t say ‘because I’m around’, but the implication still annoyed Emilia. Mary insisted to call it bodyguard duty, since a Little walking about town might just end up getting adopted. Life was a rigged game for her kind, after all. The one benefit was that Mary didn’t abuse it. She still called her ma’am and when Emilia disagreed with any of her more liberal decisions she made an effort to revoke them and go more along her boss’ line. Few Amazons could stay professional if their boss was a little.

Hell, her last secretary had wanted to dress her up in a dress for a meeting and spiked her drinks, too.

“I checked online and the Little communities say you don’t actually even need a booster seat in the restaurant.”

“Oh?” Emilia was genuine surprised. Most tables were “Amazon-friendly”, which was just coded language for “Everybody who isn’t a friggin giant is fucked”.

“I know, right. I figured after the Austen Square thing I should actually look into that.”

Emilia nodded. That had been an embarrassment, but it could’ve gone so much worse if Mary hadn’t been there.

“Yeah, thanks.”

She looked one more time at her home.

“Fucking hate this…”

Mary laughed. “Well, maybe some steak’s gonna lift your mood, ma’am.” [HR][/HR]
It didn’t. Standard Procedure meant the world thought you were as capable as a toddler and Mary had to confirm with the waiter everytime that yes, she could have a normal fork and knife. No, she did not need a bib, and no, they did not need to know where the changing room was. It was an embarrassing tedium, being handed the children’s menu, having people talk over her, she was sure someone was asking about her own suit.

“Maybe you should try a different look, ma’am,” Mary offered once it had all settled down and the orders were made.

“A different look?”

“The fishtail with bangs is just making you look more…” Mary was silent for a few seconds, unable to say the word.

“kiddy?”

The Amazon nodded.

“You think that matters.”

“It would, yes.”

“They’d see me as a child pretending to be an Amazon.”

Mary, after a moment, nodded to that. “Sure, but, they might give you more respect. I mean, now they think…”

“That you dressed me?”

Mary’s eyes sunk to observe the table. Emilia sighed.

“I don’t care about them. I’m accomplished, I have a job, a life, a lover,” Emilia laughed at that. “I have everything they want a Little to not have, and I do it while combining Minnie Mouse socks and bangs with a business suit and a secretary. I like that they need to justify my existence, that they need to talk. It means I won the game you Amazons created. I won it hard.”

The woman nodded at the explanation.

“It’s good that you feel that way, ma’am. It’s, well, it’s fun working for you, even though people don’t like me being a subordinate to a Little. But it’s challenging work and I’m grateful to you for having me.”

Emilia felt herself blushing, butterflies rising in her stomach. With her mother dying and coming to sell the house, this entire trip had felt horrible, so finally having a moment for herself and Mary just validating her made her feel kind of giddy. It was just a biological thing, she told herself, that getting told that she was good by an Amazon and feeling feelings because of it was out of her control. That made things easier.

Their food came. Emilia had taken fish fingers with french fries. The ugly truth was that child menus were all she could really eat since the stuff on the adult card, or Amazon card, tended to be either too spicy or too sour. It’s like these people needed vinegar on everything. And no sugar. Honestly, Amazons were so strange in their tastes. So, despite the difference in presentation, the fact that they called her food “fun” and gave her a little toy doll as a gift, the waitress calling her adorable in her suit, she just swallowed it down and enjoyed the food, as did Mary.

“So, uh, ma’am. I wanted to ask you for a while now, but you’re always so quiet when people come over to gush at you?”

One year and Mary had never dared to ask her questions like this. Emilia raised an eyebrow as she put a fish finger into the dip and then proceeded to chew on it. After swallowing, she answered.

“I had a pet bird named Sam.”

“Okay?”

“He always said the same thing when someone came into my room. One day, when I came home, I found my brother trying to strangle the bird, I don’t even remember why. I think he just wanted to see if he could. Either way, Sam, in his final moments, looked to me and said: Hello Friend, welcome to Mimiville.”

Mary stared at her for a moment.

“That’s just an incredibly creepy non-sequitur ma’am. And I didn’t know your brother was such a dingus.”

Emilia shrugged. “I think it answers everything.”

She smiled as the waiter came to refill their drinks. “Thank you.”

Mary looked at her as she turned back to her.

“Y’know, just whatever happens, it’s always: Hello Friend and welcome to Mimiville.”

Interesting. There are several ways it can go, and I enjoy the relationship between Emilia and Mary. Here’s hoping things get better in Emilia’s personal Mimiville

It is certainly an interesting setup.

One suggestion: You use passive voice a lot - “had done” “have been” etc. Try replacing those phrases with single action verbs. “Had done” = “did”. “had been” = “was”. “Had become” = “became”. See if you like the more authoritative nature of the narratives this way.

I am really looking forward to reading more of this. Keep up the good work.

Intriguing, I wonder how they both will cope later?

Chapter 2: Not Known For Kindness

With the selling of the house in Mary’s capable hands and private business resolved, the afternoon proved less relaxing than Emilia had anticipated. Of course, every day she left the known confines of her home, Emilia found herself in what some, if not most Littles referred to as “The Struggle”. It was a thing even Middles could barely understand. The restaurant was only the beginning, being handed the child’s menu, having to face up to the fact that an Amazon’s chair never was intended for someone her height, being talked over and finally being bloody cooed at like some sort of cute puppy being out for a walk. Yes, that’s only the beginning of it, because as long as a Little wasn’t alone, it never stopped. It never mattered how professional one dressed, how much make-up one applied, whether one’s ID was shown or someone else would vouch for one, the most one got was the same sort of respect as a poodle that recently won a “most beautiful dog” contest or a toddler at a beauty pageant.

“Oh, she’s a board member? Oh, how far we’ve come, you must be so proud of yourself.” One passerby remarked after being told there wouldn’t be any playdates involving Mary’s boss. She made it sound so nonchalant, dismissing another adult’s life and position like it was a card to be put on the fridge.

Sitting in the car, looking at the sun lowering itself beyond the horizon, Emilia still felt the tears want to just roll down her eyes. It wasn’t easy, holding them back, but she definitely got used to this feeling at some point. Mary, too, it seemed. Though she did eye her worriedly, she let her boss mostly alone, simply saying.

“It’s okay, ma’am. Littles are really emotional, and some of those people were rather… tactless.”

Emilia looked down, a bit ashamed how easy she was to read. But she did find a smile growing on her face. Mary was a rare find, indeed.

“Thank you, Mary. Will we be at the Hotel soon?” she asked curiously.

“Yes.”

Emilia leant back in the car. One of the great things being a very important person in a company had to be that they’d care enough about appearances to have custom-made carseats. While they existed, they were rather expensive to make, so most Littles stuck to just cars their own size or public transport, since regulations had it that one would then need a fitted seating for where they sat. A booster, obviously. Not having to worry about that helped her mentally. No matter what the world thought of her, she was an adult.

The ride ended quietly. Mary was in a different, cheaper hotel, since the only other option would’ve been the shared appartment, which, of course, would’ve been to Emilia’s detriment, like so many things in life.

“We’ll get back home tomorrow,” She said as she climbed out of the car. “I’ll await you by ten.”

“Yes, ma’am!” Mary caught herself making a salute and giggled at her own silliness.

Emilia rolled her eyes but still smiled. “And thanks, Mary. It’s good to have you.”

With that she closed the door and headed into the hotel, opening the door, though it took a lot of her strength.

Inside, there were some people leaving, some people coming. She pulled on her jacket and made sure to walk over to the elevator like she owned the world. There stood a family of four, two men laughing at each other’s jokes, their teen daughter, looking like it was raining inside, and the smallest of the bunch, being held on his father’s hip, in just some rompers that did nothing to hide the diaper. At a glance, one might’ve figured it just their baby.

“And the way he ate his spaghetti…” the man holding the child said, while glancing at him. The words came out with such gusto, such enjoyment.

Looking closer, there were some tell-tale features. Though he tried to look as much the child he was dressed as, hoping to blend in, his face looked too mature, his legs too muscular. A Little, of course. Emilia almost groaned. They just were around every corner, weren’t they. She stood by the side, looking like she didn’t care. If the man, boy, whatever, was ever looking at her, she wasn’t returning the gaze. No, this was none of her business and getting involved would only lead to a terrible, terrible mess. She’d read enough forum posts and seen enough reports on the TV to understand that.

They all stepped in the elevator, with Emilia looking at the teenager as she pushed a button.

“Would you be so kind and push the one for the top floor, too?” She asked after a second of waiting, gritting her teeth before she could even ask the question.

“Hm?” The teenager asked and looked at her. “Why?”

“Because I can’t reach it.”

“Maybe you should drink some more milk then…”

Emilia looked at her, then at her parents, who just smirked at the interaction.

“Please?” She asked, smiling at them.

The teen hesitated, groaned herself and then pushed the button. “You should really not be out without your mommy, sweetie, imagine if we weren’t here…” She said.

The glibness did her no credit.

“Thanks for the advice, I’ll keep it under consideration,” came the flat answer.

There it came, the furrowing of brows. The teen tried to find a point of attack, the right words for the next strike. Sadly, she and both of her dads had apparently taken a room on the first floor, so the elevator rung and the doors opened and her parents ushered her out, not even talking to Emilia again.

Which, in all honesty, was fairly good for her. She hated talking to Amazons.


With a clicking sound, the door to her apartment unlocked and she stepped inside. The apartment had it all, a nice shower, a giant bed, a minibar, huge windows to look out of. And best of all, it was all Amazon-sized.

Usually, that wouldn’t have been the best, but having a bed as huge as what might be perceived as an entire room, just for yourself, was the most amazing thing, especially since Emilia had never gotten rid of the bad habit of rolling around in her sleep and falling out of bed like some sort of…

Nobody would ever find out, especially in this place. The only downside, of course, was that the hotel, even after learning she wasn’t a bedwetter, still insisted on plastic sheets, because “Littles can’t be trusted.” Everybody just kinda nodded it off, except for Mary, who shook her head even as she recalled the conversation she’d had with staff. It was a compromise Emilia had been willing to allow, however, seeing as how now she just slept on a crinkly surface. There were worse things.

As she stepped into the room and looked down, she saw the night-light still there. Someone had installed that thing and once it hit 7 PM it automatically turned on. Neither could Emilia get it off the wall, nor was the staff willing to help. From their perspective, she needed plastic sheets, a night-light, and when they found out she hadn’t had a stuffie with her, they brought out a “spare” they kept for Littles. A dog that was larger than she was and too hard to carry off the bed, where it still lay.

She wouldn’t allow Mary inside this room. As much as she appreciated her help, the risk was too great that she’d tell somebody else, and a relationship based on mutual respect could a be tightrope.

She walked past the minibar, sure that the child safety that kept her from the beverages, also hadn’t been “fixed”, and climbed up the chair by the table with the radio, turning it on. She liked listening to the radio as she got to bed.

Right on the dot, she was, as a cheery, female voice announced. “Welcome to the Voice of All, the show where we give voice to all opinions that move the country. Today, we have a very special guest, little Susie, from the Little Rights Movement, so adorable.”

She heard the cheers and the laughter in the background as she took off her jacket. Susie from the Little Rights Movement must’ve been an adorable sight to get them so riled up. The show tended to be made by and for Amazons after all, so the studio audience tended to be filled with them.

“I prefer Susanne, Susanne Wilby,” another voice spoke up, sounding much squeakier than the first, like it belonged to a little girl.

The name gave Emilia pause. Susanne Wilby wasn’t really someone you’d want to host on a national radiobroadcast, for reasons the host was all to ready to elaborate on.

“Alright, “Susanne”,” the host said exaggerating every syllable, “you are known as Beret Girl, and also as a little, one might say naughty, terrorist. You’ve been responsible for kidnappings, bomb threats, robbery, assault and all other kinds of unruly behaviour.”

Emilia turned to the radio. “Unruly?” She asked in disbelief. Did the host just call a wanted criminal naughty? Sure, Susanne Wilby wasn’t known for kindness, but “naughty” isn’t the word you use to describe for whom most of the major work’s been the butchery of others.

“You say you’re the voice of all the people in this land, yet you are so willing to exploit your position over that others, over the small and weak. You never even wanted to hear us, never even wanted to listen to us.”

The host laughed. “Well, orders from above, sweetie. But things change, and I am so glad you answered our call. Oh, do go on, take some of those cookies, or I’ll munch 'em all up by myself…”

Emilia took off her shirt, her pants, the padded bra she wore and decided to forego a shower for today. That she could still do on the morrow, for now it was just pajamas and sitting on the bed. She had heard of the LRM, of how they stood for the values of “the old countries” and all sort of political mumbo jumbo, but they were banned in most modern nations as terrorists. Most of what she knew had been from the Media, never from a member, and especially not one as prolific as the Beret Girl.

By the time it hit half past eight and host announced that it was done for the day, Emilia found herself yawning.

“I’m sure there’s quite a few among our listenership who have their bedtimes to worry about, so we won’t keep you up much longer. Thanks, Susanne, for coming on the air. Why don’t you try at least one cookie, though, you know… for me? As a parting gift."

After what had been several hours of her trying to shill those cookies, Emilia felt like it was the ending to a whole story arc on a TV Show when the radical terrorist took a cookie from the host’s hand, presumably the last one. Either way, it was a good way to end the show on.

“Can I just, say something?” Susanne suddenly asked.

“Oh, sure, but don’t take too long.”

“It’s just something to my brothers and sisters, those who are living the Struggle, those who were forced to surrender to it and those who fight with tooth and nail, no matter the cost. I want you to know there’s a chance for us, and this dialogue I’m sure is just the beginning of things growing better. We can all live in peace and accept each other for who we are, and one day, as equals. Until that day comes I need you to know that you are brave and wonderful, mature and graceful and you will be you, no matter how much the world wants to break you. We all struggle, we all survive.”

“What a sweet speech, sweetie, and all ad libbed. Such a good job. Now, we say goodbye to our viewers and tune in next week, same time, where we will have a second part to this conversation.”

The radio shifted to music, some dull classical track that sounded almost like a lullaby. A lot of radio stations did that around this time. She was quite thankful for it, since it helped with sleep. Usually, she liked to stay up late, it’s something one accustomed themselves to do around Amazons. It felt good to say that one was awake at midnight, or past it, like somehow defying their expectations made one a better person, or a more mature one.

Today would be different. As she clapped her hands and the lights reacted, the darkness made her shiver. After the night back home, it felt so weird to be alone in the darkness. Who knew, maybe a ghost followed her here. She found herself quickly beneath the blanket, curled up by the giant dog and looking at the Night Light. It soothed her nerves more than she cared to admit. She never needed a night light before this, but now, looking at it, and falling asleep to the calming warmth it gave off, she couldn’t help but wonder why.


“So, how was your night?”

Emilia found herself stiffening as Mary asked the innocent question, turning towards the Amazon, in her usual semi-professional look that was completely ruined by her sneakers. She took a breath, tried look more relaxed.

“It was good."

As far as sleep was concerned, it was. That for some godforsaken reason she’d woken up with her thumb in her mouth had been unnerving, though. It wasn’t one of her bad habits, at least she was sure it’d never been. Yet she had woken to the sensation of drenching her thumb in saliva, suckling on it in lieu of whatever she dreamt about. She wanted to say something mature and raunchy, but that thought just made her blush and fluster.

“You look the part, ma’am.”

The highway home was a road well travelled, but in the confines of the car, it was just the two of them in the entire world. Sure, Mary was focused on the street and Emilia on her laptop and her work, but that didn’t change the fact they were on route back home.

“It was a good bed,” Emilia said with a laugh.

After a moment of quiet Mary spoke up once again.

“You know, you changed, ma’am.”

“Changed?”

“Back when I first took the job everyone said you weren’t really known for your kindness, but… You’re good to me and I like working for you. I’m happy I took this job.”

Emilia didn’t quite know why anyone would say she wasn’t kind. Sure, she tended to tell people that she wouldn’t take any shit from them just because of height differences and with all the secretaries before Mary had made it very clear, very early that the hierarchy was of utmost importance to her and challenging it would end miserably for them. It was something she’d enjoyed, now that she thought about it. Maybe that was why? Not that it mattered, Mary understood the hierarchy without needing any sort of reinforcement and didn’t talk down to her.

“I’m also glad you took the job, you’re far more helpful than any of the others. My previous secretary, Stephanie or whatever her name was, oh, she was a condescending bitch to work with.”

Emilia caught herself saying that and started laughing. “Oh, geez, sorry. I don’t know why I’m telling you that, don’t mind me.”

Mary just smiled. “It’s fine. Honesty is a good thing. I like it if we can be honest with each other.”

Emilia found herself answering the smile with one of her own. Mary seemed confident, even though she could be ditzy at times, and she had this air about her that made Emilia feel like there were butterflies in her stomach. Not from the beginning, but sometime soon thereafter. The way she took care of everything, going so far as to even point out whenever Emilia made mistakes or could make subtle changes to her plans for them to work better. They were a good team, really. Probably the best.

“Oh, did you catch the radio show yesterday?” Mary suddenly asked.

“Which one?”

“The one with Beret Girl Susie. I mean, I knew she would be on, but I didn’t expect her to be quite so…”

“Engaged in actual talking?” Emilia finished, wondering whether it’d been announced at some point. It should’ve been, but she didn’t catch it.

“What do you think about the points she made? How everything was better when Littles still had their own countries?”

“I think it’s political mumbo jumbo.”

She had never really cared, politics were complicated and she was a busy girl, always has been. A thousand other things always needed to be done, not something she much cared for.

Mary frowned at that. “I think it’s important to keep up with it. I mean, in her own way, isn’t she fighting for your rights, too?”

Emilia shrugged. “All I know is that she’s harming others, and that’s not good.”

“You make it sound so simple… Ma’am.”

Someone once told her there was nuance in such things, she never quite saw it. Mary tapped her fingers on the wheel, looked at her through the mirror with a thoughtful gaze.

“There’s a lot of people saying Littles aren’t politically involved because they’re to small to understand it,” she said, hoping to provoke a response.

Emilia saw right through her, rolled her eyes and sighed. “Mary, I am understanding politics and I choose not to care. That’s all.”

“I didn’t mean to insinuate…”

“I know you don’t…” Emilia grumbled and started typing away on her laptop, hoping the rest of the ride would be quiet.

It was, until her bladder decided to come knocking.